Leica S2 – The Best Digital 35mm Camera

The Best Digital SLR

If money is no object and you are looking for the best possible 35mm digital SLR, then you will want to know exactly which is the best digital SLR. At the moment most people would probably reply the Nikon D3, but this is about to change. This summer Leica, who were always known as the Rolls-Royce of 35mm cameras, will be launching their latest offering in digital SLRSs – the Leica S2.

The only problem there is likely to be with the new S2 is the cost. With this new digital SLR Leica are taking aim at the medium-format digital camera market, by creating a 35mm camera that can provide the same quality image as a medium-format camera such as a Hasselblad. The Nikon D3 for example has a 24 megapixel sensor, which is about double that of the ‘average’ high-quality digital camera.

The Leica S2 will be taking this even further by featuring a 37.5 megapixel digital sensor. In Leica’s own words the Leica S2 is a “remarkable new camera from Germany that redefines the professional DSLR class with a custom 37.5-megapixel, 30 x 45 mm sensor built into a 35mm-sized body”.

This digital camera is expected to seriously shake up the digital camera world and will force other manufacturers to significantly improve their products. 

The 37.5 megapixel 30 x 45 mm sensor on the Leica S2 is almost 60% larger than full frame 35mm and the quality it offers is “well beyond that obtainable by conventional pro-caliber DSLRs”.

The aim is to combine the quality of a medium-format digital camera with the ergonomics, and ease of use of a 35mm DSLR.

Back in 1925 Leica redefined photography when they created the legendary model A. The S2 is expected to have the same effect on digital photography in the 21st century.

The S2 is completely weather-sealed for use in the studio and also outdoors as it is, according to Leica, the ideal camera for “people who actually want superior image quality, but the nice hand-held option of taking pictures. So more the moving kind of taking pictures.”

Although the S2 approaches medium-format quality, it is significantly lighter and less cumbersome, you can therefore take it with you up mountain sides with relative ease, which cannot be said for medium-format cameras which are heavy and generally also require a tripod to be carried up the mountain too.

Leica are keen to emphasize that the S2 is a “tool, not a toy,” and that it has been created for professional photographers and pro-am photographers who require quality and reliability, it also has only enough buttons as are absolutely essential to professional photographers, i.e. there is no unnecessary no clutter.

The launch of the S2 is expected for the summer of 2009 and will be up against medium-format cameras such as the Hasselblad H3DII-39 megapixel with an 80mm lens. The Hasselblad sells for around $22,000 – the Leica S2 is expected to be priced around $20,000 – so start saving.